Friday, November 05, 2010

Breakout of S4C agreement on Dragon's Eye.

Watched the S4C discussion on Dragon's Eye tonight. Still struggling to find any real disagreement. Lot of hot air and outrage about nothing much at all. We all seem to want the same thing. Except the bit of nagginess at the Assembly end because those MPs down the M4 have dared to sort things out.

There does not seem to be much opposition to where we are - except amongst a very small group. There is the issue of editorial independence that has yet to be confirmed - but I do feel quite confident about things now. I thought Alun Ffred Jones, the Assembly Heritage Minister showed himself to be the most sensible political voice on this issue in Wales. He has rediscovered his pragmatism and balance. He had no time for discussion about devolving S4C, and thinks this issue could be discussed sometime in the future, and in a wider context. I'm sure he didn't mean to but showed up his party boss, Ieuan Wyn Jones - who has been daft enough to agree to speak at a lobby group rally organised to call for withholding the TV licence fee. Alun Ffred dismissed this idea with that witheringly casual wave of the hand he reserves for daft ideas. The Deputy First Minister should withdraw in an effort to retain his dignity.

I've been greatly encouraged by the way the S4C discussions have gone over recent weeks. We have moved from a position where I, and others, were deeply worried to a position where we can be confident about its successful future. I fully expect a bit more turbulence over the next few weeks, but only what might be described as typically Welsh. Its the way we Celts do things.


Anonymous said...

if I compare and contrast this blog with now and say a year ago- it's changed a lot.
You say there is "naginess" in the Assembly- please read your S4C blog, and your Nick Robinson post.

Can you go back to your pre-MP, constructive type posts- they were much better, otherwise I will be forced to unsubscribe from your RSS Feed.

Anonymous said...

" ...has been daft enough to agree to speak at a lobby group rally organised to call for withholding the TV licence fee"

That's a bit of a cheap shot. The rally is to show support for S4C and is being sponsored by a number of organisations other than Cymdeithas yr Iaith.

Cerith said...

Glyn I think it is important that you don't deliberately misrepresent things. The S4C rally is a rally against the way the UK coalition have treated S4C and the cuts it is imposing. It is not a rally on the licence fee. The rally was organised a while before that call and they are completely separate.

What is very disappointing is that you have seemingly lost your independence as an MP and instead seem committed to swallowing the ill-treatment of Wales by your colleagues in Westminster, even though they have consistently shown a lack of understanding of issues here.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the previous comment.

MH said...

Glyn, I just caught up with Dragon's Eye on iPlayer, and yes, I agree that Alun Ffred was very good. But I don't think you have to temper your praise for him by taking a swipe at Ieuan. The rally tomorrow may have been instigated by Cymdeithas, but look at all the other organizations that are part of it too.

Yes, I will agree with you that things are moving forward. But you must surely accept that things have moved forward because of disquiet (at the least, though for many it is outrage) at the way the original decision was reached. They have only moved forward to the extent that all parties now agree that there should be a review of the decision.

I can't help but think that you are not following your own advice. Just a few days ago you were telling us that it was not the opening bid, but the end deal that mattered. But you nonetheless were praising Cameron just for his opening position on the EU budget, since no final deal has yet been done on it. And on this subject you are equally premature. The decision your government made needs to be reviewed. We will only get a satisfactory outcome when the issues at stake are readdressed and resolved in a better way.

If you are smoothing over the differences in order to make it look as if Jeremy Hunt was not so very wrong, then I have some sympathy for what you're doing. Providing we do get an independent S4C with long-term guaranteed funding top-sliced from the TV licence fee (rather than being at the future discretion of the BBC, from within its budget) then we have the bones of a better agreement. In fact we could say that the bones are already there, but that an emaciated rather than lean and strong flesh has been put on them. We then have to revise the figures so that S4C only suffers the same 16% cut that the BBC faces, rather than a 24% cut.

If that's your idea of a "typically Welsh" way of doing things, so be it. But I would remind you that these revisions have yet to be made and that, until they are, many of us will continue to protest on behalf of S4C ... and some of us will go further. For that is, if anything, much more "typically Welsh".

Glyn Davies said...

Ok I'll concede a bit here. I shouldn't have portrayed the rally as being about a campaign to withhold the TV licence fee. Its clearly more than that. Too many people have told me otherwise. I hadn't realised that so many people might read my post! Or care a **** what I think. Its a pity that the licence fee issue has had such a high profile. There's always a danger of me going a bit over the top, when its late and been a long, long day. So its sorry to those who are attending the rally to show support for S4C. Nothing wrong with that.

And I agree with anonymous as well. This blog has changed. From the time my election as an MP became a real possibility, I've had to remove my (albeit pathetic) attempts at humour because of the way it would be reported. Normally, I couldn't give a ****, but I was not prepared to risk damaging the chances of my team winning. Relaxed a bit after being elected, but in accepting a position as a PPS, I sacrificed some 'independence' for some 'influence'. Don't know whether that was the right decision - but its the one I made. Who knows how long that will last. There's a good case to stop blogging altogether until I return to the backbenches, or the farm. But at the moment, I'm content to just comment as I feel on issues to do with my non political life, and issues Welsh that interest me. I've no idea whether anyone actually visits or reads any more - and that's never really bothered me anyway. If anyone doesn't want to visit, it seems to me daft that they do.